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Ask The Legal Expert: How do I end a Civil Partnership?

View profile for Angela Killa
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Angela Killa, Associate Solicitor from the Family Law team here at JCP, shines a light on the process of dissolving a Civil Partnership.

My partner and I have been in a Civil Partnership for two years and we have decided to split after some infidelity on my partner’s part.  We have no children, but some assets, including a house together. What is the legal process we need to go through?

Couples who want to bring a Civil Partnership to an end need to apply to the Court for a Dissolution Order (in some circumstances Nullity or Separation Orders are appropriate). To do this, you must have been married, or in a Civil Partnership, for at least a year, which you have been. You, as the applicant, must illustrate clearly that the relationship has irretrievably broken down, due to one of the following reasons:

  • Unreasonable behaviour - this can include infidelity
  • Two years of separation - this reason must be accompanied by consent from the responder for it to be a useable reason for a dissolution
  • Five years of separation - no consent from the respondent is needed in this case
  • Grave hardship
  • Two years of desertion

You can make your application via your local Family Court and if it is accepted you are likely to be granted a Conditional Order and then a Final Order six weeks later, which officially ends a Civil Partnership.

If your partner contests your application then the case is likely to go to Court, at which stage it would be wise to pursue legal advice.

As far as the division of any assets, the Court will use the same criteria it would use for any married couple. Since there are no children to take into consideration, the Court will weigh up your incomes, future earning capacity, property, pensions and any other financial assets and decide how those assets should distributed to best meet the financial need of you both.

So, the financial obligations and responsibilities of you both, your respective ages, the duration of your partnership, any illness which is likely to limit earning capacity, will be taken into account, as will the standard of living enjoyed by you both before the relationship breakdown.

The Court will endeavour to reach a fair ruling that doesn't leave one party in need to the benefit of the other. Be aware that the Court expects couples to have taken steps to resolve any issues before they attend, so you will be expected to attempt Mediation before the Court stage and often this can be less traumatic and more economical than attending Court.                  

For more information, please contact Angela on 01267 248893 or by email at:

Angela is an Associate Solicitor in our Family Team, based at our Carmarthen Office. Angela specialises in all aspects of Family Law including complex children matters, divorce and financial remedies. Angela is a member of Resolution, an organisation for professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes, and is also a member of the Law Society's Children Panel.  Angela is a fluent Welsh speaker. 

For further advice, please contact our specialist Family Solicitors in:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671

The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation.